an excerpt from the new book The Inspired Room
A Dining Room That Invites You to Stay
As welcoming as you want your home to be, dining rooms in particular can end up feeling standoffishly stiff —the kind of room you only use when the boss comes over for dinner. Try thinking about this space as you would any other room in your home. Pay attention to the small details that will make the difference between a room you simply pass through and a room that invites you in daily to connect and converse over a meal.
My dreams for our dining room were simple. I wanted a room that was comfortably quirky enough to put our guests and family at ease, yet stylish enough to dress up for those special occasions when one feels inclined to whip out the crystal glasses.
Here are three essentials for an inviting dining room:
A Striking Statement
If you feel that your dining room lacks personality, why not start with a statement piece? A dramatic light fixture or a substantial piece of art or furniture draws attention and sets the tone for your space.
A hint of old-world charm became our unique statement. We removed a rather unoriginal chandelier and then installed an oversized outdoor copper-and-iron lantern. Instantly, this became our focal point and a design launching point.
A Refreshed Backdrop
Oftentimes the ideal starting point is to address the backdrop elements, such as walls and floors.
After years of living with wall-to-wall carpet (not ideal in a dining room), we celebrated the day we installed beautiful hickory hardwoods. The rustic two-toned wood transformed our space and provided a visual connection between the rooms.
At the time, this space was a sophisticated dark gray with white trim. I loved the look until the day the dining room walls begged me to be white. Don’t worry. My walls don’t really talk to me. And if they did, they would insist on being covered with white wood planks. But to suit our budget, we painted the drywall white instead. If I squint, I can pretend it’s wood. The cheery white backdrop and complementary flooring create a clean canvas for our ever-changing decor.
Years ago we painted our table white without the leaves in place. When it came time to expand the table, we realized the leaves were still au naturel. We kept them that way and have ever since! Our happy accident has become a unique statement piece.
This lovely excerpt is from The Inspired Room,